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elbanditoroso's avatar

Will the Republican debates lose all credibility if the candidates take over management of the debate process?

Asked by elbanditoroso (28839points) November 2nd, 2015

I’m troubled by the Republican candidates’ reactions to the last debate. They were all asked tough, even impertinent questions by the CNBC people. I didn’t see the questions as “gotcha” questions, as some have said – rather, I saw the questions as real honest queries to the candidates, that the candidates may not have wanted to answer.

The candidates don’t like being put on the spot, and they especially don’t like being confronted for their dishonesty. So their reaction is to ‘manage’ the next debates by themselves. (Whatever that means…)

Is there anything stupider that they could do? Why would anyone watch a debate where there is no challenging of ideas? What is the point of a debate where everything controversial is whitewashed?

How do the Republican candidates figure that ‘managing the debate’ is going to make anyone take them seriously?

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28 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

Will the republican debates lose all credibility”?
Not in the eyes of the conservatives.
To the cons, It will be a “courageous stand against the communist media”.

stanleybmanly's avatar

The GOP takes the position that the popular media, including the news outlets are rigidly biased against them and their agenda. It’s very much like the residents of a psycho ward asserting that “everyone is against me”. This is actually a necessary tactic if greed and selfishness are to be legitimized. “The manure doesn’t stink. Your noses are all defective.”

elbanditoroso's avatar

@stanleybmanly – nice turn of phrase….“your noses are defective”

majorrich's avatar

If they do it right it could be a good thing. Actual questions that we can see where the candidates stand on issues so we can make an informed choice come primary time. They have to have objective questions though. I would be all for a questionnaire and publish all of their reactions so we have an apples to apples view. It is pretty late in the game for me to completely not know who I support, but I don’t.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@majorrich – I’m of two minds on your last sentence.

On the one hand, I want the republican who is the most extreme and bizarre (either Trump or Cruz) to win the debates and the nomination, because that will be almost a shoo-in for Hillary to be elected. So I’m all in favor of the republican extremists shooting themselves in their collective feet.

On the other hand, if Hillary does crash and burn, I would want the republican who is most capable of governing to be in place. And that would be Kasich.

Seek's avatar

Wouldn’t it be lovely if that nice Republican gentleman who just dropped out of the Democratic race would run as a Republican?

johnpowell's avatar

I watched CNBC for a few hours before the debate started. There was a lot of throne sniffing with the representatives of the candidates going on. CNBC is actually pretty friendly to trickle up economics.

The moderators did do a pretty shitty job but that was mostly due to time management. And some of the questions were stupid too. But CNN had stupid questions too like, “What would your secret service name be?”

Really, if you think you will get any policy out of them you are delusional. It is easy to say you will cut taxes but you never get them to say how they will actually pay for it. Reducing waste isn’t a answer. Tell me exactly what you will cut and by how much. If you want to cut taxes for your buddies tell me how much and where exactly that money will come from.

Ideally the debates would inform but it is just a sick joke when you have 10 idiots and 60 seconds.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I am quite flabbergasted by the state of the contemporary Republican party as demonstrated by their field of candidates. I truly don’t understand how any thinking person can take them seriously. What many of them say is imbecilic, and they seem to equate governing to reality TV. I honestly think I’m watching the Real Housewives of Somewhere Stupid when I see the news of their latest happenings. They seem to believe their greatest feats come by somehow denigrating each other or the media or foreigners or such. I have not heard one serious policy proposal from a single one of them.

With that said, I am even more flabbergasted by the state of the Republican electorate that is enjoying this farce and lapping it up wishing for more. It’s a sad state of affairs that this many people are incapable of critical thought that would readily show them there are no serious candidates running in their party.

The whole situation would be laughable, if it weren’t for the office that controls a lot of power, along with nuclear weapons.

LostInParadise's avatar

If they arrange to get asked spoon fed questions, it is going to make for pretty dull watching. Say what you want about the moderators, to the extent that they challenge questionable statements made by the candidates, the public gets to see how the candidates act under pressure and think on their feet.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@LostinParadise That’s the truly depressing truth that we tend to ignore. It doesn’t matter how much ridicule and contempt we lather on the GOP field. It doesn’t matter that they deserve every bit of it. What matters is that regardless of how inane and absurd the position, or obtuse and embarrassing the candidate, there is always a huge constituency devoted to propelling the worst of the bunch straight to the top of the polls. The political process on the right amounts to a
running extravaganza. It’s a
farcical production played before the world, the title of which is “That’s right! We’re a nation of fools!”

JLeslie's avatar

Not necessarily. That last debate was a joke. Someone needs to change how it’s being done. The initial debates each should be focused on a particular broad topic. Each candidate should be able to give an answer to the same question of about 6 questions, and then there can be 1 or 2 questions that apply particularly to an individual candidate.

It’s ridiculous to only ask two or three candidates about taxes and another two or three about trade. Don’t the voters need to know all the answers from all the candidates?

It’s easy to lose control of the debate if the debaters feel they need to interrupt to get an opinion in.

The media has been ignorant, ridiculous, and mean towards GOP candidates. They are clueless about Trumps popularity, they have twisted Ben Carson’s words over and over again, they are harsh towards Bush, they seem to think Rubio is a darling, it really is absurd and annoying.

I’m a Democrat and I think this.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Rubio gets that adoration because he is one smart politician and an absolute master at sliding around questions addressing bungling prouncements from his less astute competitors. He was the first guy I can remember that when asked about global warming came back with “I’m no scientist”. Whenever a microphone is thrust at him for comment on a flat tax or whether or not undocumented Mexicans are rapists and murderers, his answers never bad mouth those responsible for the nonsense nor address the credibility of the statements. He should actually hold a diplomatic post.

LostInParadise's avatar

The new debate format:

Moderator: Mr. Trump, what qualification do you think sets you apart from the other candidates?

Trump: That’s a tough one. I am torn between saying it is how much money that I made or my winning personality or overall intelligence.

Audience: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Why is the electorate enamored of the stupidity of these candidates?

This quandary truly baffles me. I simply don’t understand. I am honestly looking for an answer.

JLeslie's avatar

I think every time the media asks them a bullshit question
It furthers the candidates ability to dodge serious questions.

The media and Democrats who don’t understand the appeal of the Republican candidates, well you are not voting in the Republican primary so it doesn’t matter much that you are baffled. You are not the target audience.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@JLeslie -in Georgia I can ask for a republican ballot at the primary, even if I am a registered democrat or an independent.

I may do that next spring, and vote for the most right-wing repub around, just to make the choice obvious.

JLeslie's avatar

@elbanditoroso Many states you can do that. Most people vote in the primary that contains the person they most want to vote for in the end. If you want to vote for a Republican to to help the Democrats that’s your prerogative, but it still in my mind shows that you probably don’t get the appeal of those Republican candidates. If you vote for the one who you think is the most ridiculous, and he/she wins the primary, that still most likely means a whole bunch of serious Republican voters really want that person. I still say Democrats who just don’t get the appeal, just don’t. They are from different worlds.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@JLeslie I live in a caucus state. We do not register to vote by party. I can go to any caucus I wish. I am the target audience.

What bullshit questions have been asked?

JLeslie's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake How often do you vote Republican? For President? Using the open vote to sabotage a party doesn’t count in my book.

Even some states that you register to vote by party have open voting for primaries.

One bullshit question I can think of is asking Jeb Bush about Fantasy Football. He gave a funny answer, which I liked, but the media crucified him for it.

Another bullshit question was asking Huckabee if Trump has the morality or moral authority (I don’t remember how it was worded) to be President.

I can’t even remember some of the ridiculous questions from the other debates, but those aren’t the only two.

Plus, as I said above, all candidates should be asked the same policy questions. Too much bouncing around in those debates.

stanleybmanly's avatar

@JLeslie You are correct. The opinions of we who find conservative candidates laughable or absurd is irrelevant. Those folks are there because they have a constituency. And it is indeed a case of 2 different views on reality. Just as with the last election when Herman Cain led the polls, the real significance of the Republican roster is that people out there must be desperate. Conservatives are irritated with the liberal claim that an increasing segment of the population no longer has the good sense to recognize its own interests. And I agree that the idea is blatantly arrogant, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t true. Here’s a take on liberal bias.

Two men, A and B are standing in front of a jackass. A points to the animal and states “what a jackass”, to which B replies “you have a liberal bias”. A then produces a dictionary, flips to J and there on the page is a photograph of the same animal along with a full description. B takes a look and comments “the book is biased” A in exasperation turns to B and states, “A few decades back you and I could agree on a jackass when we saw one”. to which B replies “your view of history has a liberal bias”. My question to the right is exactly when was it that the media developed this all but unanimous liberal bias?

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@JLeslie Asking me how I vote is illogical. It is an ad hominem attack and irrelevant. How I voted in the past has no bearing on what I may or may not choose in the future. Furthermore, by questioning me, you are changing the subject from my question above about why candidates who are stupid are receiving support.

Thank you for the examples of the bullshit questions. It further flabbergasts me to know they’re being asked such silly things, and yet they are complaining the media responsible for the debates are biased against them.

JLeslie's avatar

@stanleybmanly I don’t think it is mostly the supposed liberal bias that treats conservatives in what might be construed as unfair. I think that the greed of the networks is the biggest problem and our acceptance of biased “journalism.” There used to be an effort to be balanced, an expectation, and even still now networks like NBC, ABC, CBS require their news journalist not to insert their political opinions. It’s part of their contracts. As opposed to people who are hosts of opinion shows. It’s a blurry line even so, even with these various contracts.

@Hawaii_Jake I wasn’t trying to deflect by asking you a question regarding your question. As you see I did also answer your questions. I asked about your voting, because my assumption (could be wrong) is you are typically a liberal voter and so you aren’t their target audience. It doesn’t matter that you can vote for either party, it matters how you actually do vote.

I watched that last Republican debate and I was entertained. There were some funny remarks. I found it interesting Huckabee brought up tackling some major health problems as a goal. Trump talked about gun ownership more in depth than I had heard previously. Kasich impressed me again. Rubio skeeves me out a little. But, the debate was chaotic, and I feel not fair to all the candidates.

I see no problem with so many Republican candidates, it’s good to have choice, it’s still early in the game. I see a problem with how the debates are being conducted.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@JLeslie Thank you for the clarification. I thought – incorrectly – you were asking me how I vote thinking if it’s liberal, then I shouldn’t be curious as to why others might support a conservative.

I understand there is a large percentage of people who have conservative views. What baffles me is a large percentage of people supporting idiocy. I do not understand that.

JLeslie's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake What exactly are you referring to by saying “idiocy?” I want to make sure I’m not assuming incorrectly what you mean. Are you talking about how the candidates conduct themselves? Or, are you talking about their actual opinions and ideas?

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

@JLeslie I think it’s a combination of their ideas and their conduct.

I find the notion that we can simply ship 11 million people out of the country idiotic. I find bellicose conduct idiotic, too. Those are only 2 of many examples.

JLeslie's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake The thing is a whole bunch of people don’t see idiocy where you do.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

You are correct.

JLeslie's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake A whole bunch of people think anyone who believes in evolution are idiots. That people who abort a fetus are murderers. That if we give money to people who have never worked to support themselves that they never will learn nor have the desire. That Israel is to be preserved no matter what the collateral damage, the rest of the world can die around it. That immigrants take the jobs of some of our citizens (I am not even talking about illegal immigration). That they need a gun to protect themselves against all of those bad people with guns (and where they live a lot of people probably do have guns, bad people too, more than where you probably live). Liberal beliefs are idiocy to them.

We all need to stop calling people idiots in my opinion, and start trying to understand each other’s perspective. Bernie Sanders is right that depending in the state you live in, gun ownership and attitudes are very different. I would tell you race relations is very different from one part of the country to another. Also, some parts of the country are going through painful changes regarding church and state and it scares them.

It is amazing what you see when you put yourself in someone else’s shoes. I was only able to do it, because I lived in Republican land Bible Belt for a time. If I had always lived in the northeast US and southeast FL I never would have been able to to the extent that I can now.

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